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Former Nepal resident raises funds for home on Cap Coast

SUPPORT IS STRONG: Annette Baker, Anni Simmons, Hughi Simmons, Marina Mikecz, Robert W. Batalin, Nini Sielaff and Suraj Shrestha get together to raise money for a Nepalese village.
SUPPORT IS STRONG: Annette Baker, Anni Simmons, Hughi Simmons, Marina Mikecz, Robert W. Batalin, Nini Sielaff and Suraj Shrestha get together to raise money for a Nepalese village. Contributed

NEAR where Suraj Shrestha grew up in Nepal is now unrecognisable since the country's devastating earthquake last month.

The Livingstone Shire Council community development officer said he was shocked to see his city reduced to rubble.

"It was very hard for me because all of those temples that were destroyed, they were my playground," Suraj told the Capricorn Coast Mirror last week.

"I was really torn between do I go there and help now or stay here and start something that we can build for the long term for Nepal?"

Thankfully, all Suraj's family living in the area survived the natural disaster.

But many other people, communities and historic buildings did not, with thousands of years of culture, architecture and ancient artefacts erased in the 7.8 magnitude quake.

That's why Suraj is calling on his local community to establish a grassroots fundraiser for the village of Tawal.

The money raised will go to the Nepalese Australia Friendship Association.

"I have a longstanding relationship with board members and they guarantee that 100% of donations collected goes directly to the recovery and rebuilding work in the village of Tawal," Suraj said.

"They have been working in this area for the past 15 years.

"The local community support for this has been amazing - people really want to help.

"And we don't want this to be something where we just throw money at it and forget about it, we want to keep building on this for the long term development of the village."

Plans for a multicultural event will soon be announced.

HOW TO HELP

If you would like to get involved, email Suraj on suraj.shrestha@livingstone.qld.gov.au

Topics:  fundraiser livingstone shire council nepal earthquake



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